From the Webmaster:

While I was processing the cemetery photographs sent to me by Linda Noll, I came across the photo of a very unique stone. It was free-form in shape and had an etching of a crane, a tractor and a horse. The dates showed that the man had died in his early 30s. I wished I knew more about the circumstances, but I didn't, so I processed the photo and placed it on the St. Patrick's Cemetery page.

In only a few days, a contributor wrote to thank me for publishing the photograph, saying that this young man's sister was her friend. Soon, I heard from the man's widow and she filled in the pieces of the story. She wrote, ". . . wandering through a cemetery before Tim died was just a bunch of names and dates. Now, I ALWAYS wonder who the person was and what their lives were like ~ who they loved, who loved them, what they did in their community, etc."

And now we know who Tim was.

"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
Matthew 11:28

Dec 6, 1967 - Mar 12, 2001

The stone features pictures of a horse, a tractor and a crane ~
this young man's loves and livelihood.
He was killed at an early age in a snowmobile accident.

Tim's family attended St. Clement's until it closed.
Tim is now buried with his ancestors in St. Patrick's Cemetery, West Albany

Heidi Bethann Sleeper-Krismer, Tim's widow, writes:

"Tim and I were together for nearly 14 years and have four children. At the time of his death, the children, Kendra Eden, Christopher Gene, Cody James, and Cole Greg were 11, 9, 8, and 5 years of age. It was the children who designed his stone.

"I felt that his stone was the last permanent statement we could make about his life and who he was. I allowed the children to think about what they thought was most important to him and did not limit the result by cost or time.

"Tim died March 12th, 2001. We began thinking about the stone design and had preliminary sketches done around Father's Day of 2001. Jeff Anderson, of Anderson Memorial, in Rochester, MN did the work. We ordered the stone and expected it to arrive from the middle east by September so it could be completed and set before winter.

"During that summer, we (the children, Tim's older brother James Darold Krismer and I ) poured the concrete pad on which the stone would later be placed. The children placed their hand prints at each corner and wrote their names in the wet concrete, and we also uncovered settled foot-stones of relatives and poured pads beneath them. We then waited for the stone to arrive in the states to be completed.

"Most unfortunately; the events of September 11th occurred. This postponed the shipping of the stone until March of 2002. During this time, the children and I did sketches and arranged (and rearranged) the pictures. We also looked at different letter fonts. The stone was completed and set into place the Thursday before Father's Day 2002, and was blessed by Father Robert G. Meyer on Father's Day Sunday.

"On the reverse side is a family picture of Tim and I and our children. In addition to the picture are the children's hand prints and signatures (to scale at the time to reflect their age and size when their daddy died), as well as the saying, "You held our hands for a while, You'll hold our hearts forever."

"You were right to say that the pictures on his stone 'reflect his loves and livelihood.' The crane picture is an actual lazar-engraved picture of the crane he operated. I'm glad that the children were mature enough to put so much thought into the memorial for their dad. He was a very hard working, playful and enjoyable man. He is missed very much."

Here are the children at Tim's memorial step in Elba, MN on Father's Day, 2003.
Kendra is in the back, Chris (left), Cole (center), and Cody (right)

"The fire tower on the top of the hill in Elba has approximately 600 steps leading up to it. People purchase steps that are engraved to memorialize friends and loved ones. Each year the kids choose a way to memorialize Tim, giving us a chance to express our grief and feelings of loss and to share happy memories, which of course gets us into the next year of a never ending process."

Tim and Heidi on his 30th birthday, three years before he died

"That is one thing that was not real for me ~ wandering through a cemetery before Tim died was just a bunch of names and dates. Now, I ALWAYS wonder who the person was and what their lives were like ~ who they loved, who loved them, what they did in their community, etc. Well, if you are that way too, now you know a little more about one of the many names and dates you have seen."

Tim's Funeral Card

Tim's Funeral Card Insert